Advice for Brides on Budget

Dear Brides,

The first step in planning a wedding day of your dreams is to budget for the wedding.ย I always tell my brides to budget wisely and spend on things that are more long lasting, create experiences for the couple and the guests, and things that are absolute necessity.

If you are a bride on a budget, here is my advice for how you can avoid (or reduce) some of the costs of your wedding:Advice_for_bride_on_a_budget

  1. The Venue.
    • The venue to host the wedding party marks up to 48-50% of the the entire budget. Instead of looking for a 5* hotel, opt for a wedding hall. It will dramatically save you lots of money. Dubai itself has some amazing new wedding halls that host weddings and provide all the needed services (security, valet parking, bridal-room, etc).
  2. The Dress.
    • If you want to save money on the dress of your dreams, ask the designer if you can rent it instead of buying the dress. If your designer doesn’t rent dresses, buy the dress and you can rent/sell it after the wedding because you will never, ever, wear it again. Ever. Oh but you get to keep & wear the shoes & jewelry again so spend well on it ๐Ÿ˜‰Rotana_Beach_Abu_Dhabi_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_bride_dress_Hazar_gown
  3. Catering.
    • My university professor of ‘Consumer Behavior’ course once said “people will forget the details, decorations, and everything else of a party, but they always remember the food!” and I can’t agree with him more. Instead of 10 fancy welcome drinks, 15 types of desserts, 20 types of teas and what not, spend a good amount on the main courses. I mean, not everyone will drink all 10 types of drinks & I’m not suggesting to reduce the cost for this one, but adjust the cost and really spend on things that everyone gets to enjoy such as the main dinner.
  4. Bouquet / Flowers.
    • Brides, please note that I absolutely loveeeee centerpieces with real flowers because they look gorgeous in the photos but if you are on a budget, I highly suggest you choose centerpieces that don’t need too many real flowers.
    • Also, the cost of your bouquet will be reduced if you ask your stage decorator to provide you with a bouquet. First, they know the theme/colors of the wedding & can make you a bouquet accordingly. Second, they get flowers in whole-sellers price and can help you save AED 2,000+ on a bridal bouquet. Third, you don’t have to wait for the bouquet to arrive or pick it up yourself as the decorator will be present at the venue and can deliver the bouquet to your bridal room.Etihad_Tower_Abu-Dhabi_Wedding_Female_Dubai_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_bride_bouquet
  5. Live Band vs. DJ.
    • Live bands are fun. No joke! If they are good, the can really take the party to the next level. Are they cost-friendly comparing to a good DJ? I’m assuming you answered this one yourself already ๐Ÿ˜€
  6. Wedding Stationary & Party Favors.
    • Personally, I love invitation cards. But lets be real, do you really need thank you cards placed on the dinner plates or fancy tissue boxes? I’ve seen them lying around at the end of the wedding with the couples’ names on it and it breaks my heart. I suggest you pay attention to these little details when budgeting for the wedding.
    • Choose party-favors that remind guests of your wedding day & something that they want to keep and use later on (mirrors, bakhoor, atr or perfume, book-marks, etc).Emirates_Palace_Wedding_Abu_Dhabi_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_giveaways_stage_decoration_party-favors

Brides, if you ever feel stuck while making the budget for the wedding, ask yourself these questions: “will this product/service benefit me or the guests after my wedding? Do I or the guests keep this as memories?” If the answers are NO, chances are you don’t need to spend too much on that product/service.

I really hope this blog post helps you save tons of money that you can use for your honeymoon and/or for your new house. Again, I hope you make budget wisely and spend on things & experiences that you and your wedding guests get to keep & cherish even after the wedding.

Your UnOfficial Bridesmaid,
~ Rima

I Promise You!

I’ve always been a fan of wedding vows & promises that brides and grooms make to each other. They promise to love and cherish each other in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad.

Here are my set of promises to my future couples who hire me to document their document day.

I_Promise_You

I promise you to be at your wedding day as more than just a photographer.
I promise that I understand how important of a day it is for you.
I promise to hand you tissues if you cry. I promise to hold your dress if you need to use the bathroom & to carry your bouquet on our way to the ballroom.
I promise to make you feel like the most beautiful couple & get rid of any insecurities or stress you might have.
I promise to put my heart & soul in documenting your wedding day to the best of my ability. I promise to capture your legacy that will be worth showing to your children & grandchildren.
I promise that hiring me will be the best decision you will make for your wedding day.
I promise you good times & countless smiles in front of my camera.
I promise you that I will take care of you. Not only on the day wedding but throughout the entire process.

I Promise You! โค

P.S.ย Here are all the #lo0oveletters that my past couples have sent me. Alhamdulillah for best of the best clients who become amazing friends โค

5 Tips to Rock The Wedding Dress

Dear Brides,

It may sound simple if I say to “Practice your Dress” but if it was this simple, I wouldn’t be writing an entire blog post about it. Trust me on this one! ๐Ÿ™‚

It is very usual that I come across brides who have trouble wearing the dress. They don’t know how the crinoline/jiboon is supposed to be worn. I’ve seen broken zippers and buttons, and what not. To make your wedding day stress-free, here are 5 tips to prepare and practice your dress beforehand.

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  1. Practice wearing your dress at least 3-5 times before the wedding day to be comfortable with the fitting, buttons, zipper, lace, ribbons, etc.
  2. Know how to wear the dress with the crinoline (aka jiboonย – the underskirt to make the ballgown fluffy).
  3. Try the dress with undergarments to make sure nothing shows & everything fits perfectly. Choose undergarments wisely (ex: strapless garments for strapless dress, etc).
  4. Wear the shoes/heels to practice walking in the dress. It will also help you be sure that the dress’s length is what you like.
  5. Last but not least, PLEASEEEEE try sitting in the dress to be 110% sure that it is possible!

Dubai_Wedding_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_bridal_boutique_dress

Lovely Brides, I hope this blog post is helpful to you. May you shine in your dress like a rockstar princess!

Your UnOfficial Bridesmaid,
~ Rima

20 Must Haves – Bride’s Emergency Kit

My darling Brides-To-Be,

Writing the last blog post about the 5 things brides forget on the wedding day, I thought a detailed post with a bride’s must haves is essential. Although you may buy Sephora’s Minimergency Kit that is ready to use but making one with things from your favorite brands is more fun (& useable).

Bridesmaids, it is a wonderful idea to make this emergency kit for your girlfriends ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just saying….

Following are a handful things that you may need/want on the day of the wedding day and honeymoon.

  1. BreathMints/Chewing gum – to get your mouth ready for that first kiss.
  2. Tweezers – for stray hair and clamped lashes.
  3. Blotting Paper – to absorb the oil & remove shine.
  4. Face Mist – to refresh the makeup & calm the skin.
  5. Tissue Papers – to dab away happy tears.
  6. Safety & Bobby pins – always come in handy.
  7. Stain Remover – God forbid you need to use them.
  8. Adhesive band-aidsย – for small cuts/injuries.
  9. Earring backs – I lose them like a magician.
  10. Deodorant towelette – in case you are not carrying a deo.
  11. Nail polish remover pad – for girls who need to pray.
  12. Tooth paste & brush – are not included in most hotels’ toiletries.
  13. Lip balm – for chapped/dry lips.
  14. Nail filer – always carry one. Alwaysssss!
  15. Hair spray – to hold hair in place.
  16. Dental floss – for a picture perfect smile.
  17. Mending/Sewing kit – I had actually sew a bride’s ripped dress.
  18. Double-sided tape – for falling hemlines & plunging necklines.
  19. Pain reliever – for head/stomach aches.
  20. Lipstick – Ladies, don’t ever underestimate the power of lipstick ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here is a bonus tip – if you are a hijabi (mohajibba), a few hair-ties and a nude-color scarf will definitely come in handy!

I hope the list helps you prepare your emergency kit. For any questions/concerns or to add something to the list, feel free to leave a comment.

Your UnOfficial Bridesmaid,
~ Rima

5 Things Brides Forget On Their Wedding Day

Words can never explain how much I love my brides. To the moon & beyond…

While my brides have proven to be very organized and amazing planners, I’ve seen a constant pattern of things that most brides tend to forget on the wedding day. Although it is never intentional and totally understandable as the wedding planning is not a piece of cake, but a little reminder is always nice.

Here is a list of 5 things that most brides forget & my two cents about those things. May this post helps you plan your dream wedding day even better, inshaAllah.

5 Things Bride Forget On their Wedding Day

  1. Have the groom’s wedding ring with you.
    You’ll need all two/three for the detail photos so make sure the groom’s ring is with you on the day of the wedding.
  2. Wedding invitation card.ย 
    Invitation cards/suite/stationary often tends to get lost years after the wedding. Have them incorporated within the photos. Also, invitation cards provide great ring shots with bride & groom’s names/logos.
  3. Hangers/mannequin for the dress.
    Make sure the hanger is not colorful/flashy to take the attention away from the dress. Also, the hanger should be able to bear the weight of the dress & its hook should be TWIST-ABLE! If you are getting a mannequin, check if the dress fits on it properly and the base is stable.
  4. Emergency kit.
    A sewing kit, bobby pins, safety pins, Tide pen (stain-remover), tissues, face-mist, small scissors, double-sided tape, mini deodorant, nail-filer – are just a few things you might need on the wedding day.
  5. Eat!!! Pleaseeeeeeeee.
    OMG! There is nothing more frightening than watching a malnourished bride faint on a wedding day. I HAVE SEEN IT!!! Not only it is terrifying, it sucks out all the fun and also reduces so much time for photos. Make sure to eat well beforeย the makeup starts.

The ONLY thing I actually wish the brides forget on their wedding day is worrying!ย Don’t get caught up in the midst of tiny imperfections, a loose thread, a missing flower from the bouquet, etc. Try to enjoy your day to the fullest despite of the small stuff.

May you have an UNFORGETTABLE wedding day, ameen.

Your UnOfficial Bridesmaid,
~ Rima